Skip to main content
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Balenciaga Break-Up: "It Was Mutual"

Wang’s departure is a rare example of a drama-free, mutual break-up between a designer and a fashion house, says Imran Amed.
François-Henri Pinault and Alexander Wang | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Imran Amed

LONDON, United Kingdom — Perhaps the most notable thing about the week's biggest news in fashion — Alexander Wang's now confirmed departure from Balenciaga — wasn't that he was leaving. It was how amicable the break-up seems to have been. The fit between Balenciaga and Wang was tenuous from the start and the commercial and creative impact that parent company Kering expected has clearly not materialised since Wang took the creative reins of the storied French brand in December 2012.

Too often, when designers leave fashion houses, their departures are surrounded by drama and controversy. When Christophe Decarnin left Balmain, it was under a cloak of secrecy as the designer had reportedly had a nervous breakdown. Raf Simons was turfed out of Jil Sander so publicly that the fashion world was up in arms, indignant that he had been treated so disrespectfully. Nicolas Ghesquière's fiery exit from Balenciaga in 2012 has led to a lawsuit between the designer and Kering. And then there was the most controversial and incendiary exit of all: that of John Galliano, whose anti-Semitic comments, caught on a video that went viral, brought the drama out of the fashion bubble into the global mainstream.

Yet on Friday, Wang and Kering issued a joint press release with glowing comments from all, saying how much they enjoyed the collaboration, making it clear that it was a joint decision to end the partnership. Clearly, it is the right decision for both parties, as Wang can now focus on his own label and Balenciaga can try again to find the right talent to inject Balenciaga with the kind of creativity that can make it Kering's next billion dollar brand.

Enjoy our top stories for the week gone by:

ADVERTISEMENT

BoF Exclusive | How Burberry is Rebuilding Its Japan Business
On June 30, Burberry's lucrative 35-year licensing deal with Sanyo Shokai came to a quiet close, enabling Burberry to take direct control of its Japanese business. How will the brand manage the transition and make up the shortfall?

BoF Exclusive | Quiet High-Street Rebel Cos Accelerates Global Expansion
Minimalist label Cos has quietly reimagined high-street fashion. Managing director Marie Honda tells BoF about its plans for global expansion.

Anya Hindmarch's Luxury Sticker Success
How Anya Hindmarch created a line of luxury leather stickers that has generated over $18 million in only two seasons.

Will Havaianas' Product Extensions Work?
From its origins making $2 footwear for plantation workers, the Brazilian flip-flop brand has expanded into more than 100 countries and launched new product categories including beachwear and sneakers.

Top 10 Campaigns A/W 2015: A Season of New Faces
The top campaigns of the Autumn/Winter 2015 season featured under-the-radar models, rather than high-wattage celebrities and supermodels.

Louis Vuitton to Stage Instagram-Friendly 'Series 3' Exhibition in London
The French luxury brand aims to expose the creative process behind the Autumn/Winter 2015 collection through an immersive marketing display.

VKSFF73XJ5A5XP62LRDMDOXGMM

Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from News & Analysis
Fashion News, Analysis and Business Intelligence from the leading digital authority on the global fashion industry.
view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024